CA governor's pardon could help 3 deported veterans return to US
By Nicole Chavez
April 16, 2017
(CNN)Hector Barajas is constantly dreaming about the day he'll return to the United States legally.
On the eve of Easter, California Gov. Jerry Brown granted Barajas and two other veterans full pardons for crimes they committed before being deported to Mexico.
Brown granted a total of 72 pardons and seven commutations Saturday.
A pardon is usually granted to individuals who have demonstrated "exemplary behavior and have lived productive and law-abiding lives following their conviction," the governor's office said in a statement.
The pardons could open a pathway for the men to come back to the United States, according to the American Civil Liberties Union of California.
A veteran without US citizenship can be deported if convicted of various crimes. When the men's public records are cleared, an immigration judge could revisit their cases and halt their deportations, allowing them to return as lawful permanent residents, also known as green card holders.
"Oh my God, this is huge. The process will be easier for me to go home to my family," Barajas said in a Facebook live video.
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